Since 1922 the Order of AHEPA has had a presence in Washington DC. AHEPA has met with every United States President since Calvin Coolidge. On May 3, 2017, AHEPA once again held its annual AHEPA Capitol Hill day in our nation’s capital.
Part of AHEPA’s mission is to outreach to our elected members of government to educate them on our issues. AHEPA has been in the forefront on issues ranging from human rights, racial equality, WWII bond sales, War Relief, Education, and Poverty concern to aid to Greece and Cyprus.
All the while AHEPA has made an effort to reach out to members of Congress and make sure they knew what we are doing. This year AHEPA once again went walking the halls of Congress. Over 100 AHEPA members from across the United States representing 20 states visited members of Congress in their offices.
The day began with a morning briefing session where several members of Congress visited with us to brief us on issues of the day. Andrew Kaffes gave our members a comprehensive overview of current legislation and talking points. The Supreme President Andrew C. Zachariades presided over the briefing. The Daughters were represented by the Grand President Jan Spanos.
After a long day of meetings with members of Congress AHEPA hosted an evening reception in the US Capitol where we honored 3 members of Congress with the AHEPA Pericles Award for Public Service.
Supreme Secretary Carl Hollister and Supreme Counselor George Horiates served as co-chair of the event. Our honorees Senator Chris Van Hollen of MD, Congressman Chris Smith of NJ and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart of FL were honored. Presenters for the evening included Congressman John Sarbanes Congressman Gus Bilirakis and Chairman of AHEPA Cyprus and Hellenic Affairs Savas Tsivikos.
All in all the AHEPA family did an outstanding job representing the Greek-American Community and promoting the issues of importance today. Supreme President noted the various members who assisted in making our event a great success, who included Chairman Nick Karacostas and members of his board Vassos Chrysanthou and Nick Aroutzidis who attended. Also, past Supreme Presidents, Nick Smyrnios and Dr. John Grossomanides attended as well as AHEPA Housing President Angelo Kostaridis and AHEPA Management President Art Poly who underwrite the evening’s affair.
Many members of the AHEPA Supreme Lodge also attended including the aforementioned brothers as well as Jimmy Kokotas from NY.
A wonderful and impressive evening was experienced by the 150 guests and it can be stated that AHEPA was again part of a stellar event.